Former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has this Tuesday begun, in Abuja, a collective review of the progress registered in the inter-party dialogue on the draft Constitution with Gambian politicians including UDP leader Ousainu Darboe, GDC’s Mamma Kandeh, CA’s Dr Ismaila Ceesay, GAP’s Musa Ousainou Yali Batchilly, GMC’s Mai Ahmad Fatty, GANU’s Sheikh Tijan Hydara, GFA’s research and analysis unit chairman Alhaji Tamsir Njie, APRC’s Musa Amul Nyassi and NPP’s Seedy Njie and a representative of Tango.
While some specific recommendations were made in January, during Jonathan’s second visit in The Gambia, the Gambian party leaders are exchanging their views on what progress was made so far.
The Abuja discussions are reviewing the concessions each of the political actors has made since December to lift the deadlock on the retroactivity of President Adama Barrow’s term in office in relation with the provisions of the new Constitution if adopted.
From the ongoing discussions, President Goodluck Jonathan hopes to snatch and seal a final agreement before his next meeting in Banjul with these Gambian political leaders.
The former Nigerian President has therefore asked his Gambian guests to consider any outstanding issues that could be included in the agenda of the session scheduled to be hold in Banjul in three weeks from now, for full discussion by the party leaders.
The Nigerian negotiator hopes to build chances of obtaining a political consensus and a deal on the adoption of a new constitution during his third mission scheduled in the course of the first half of March 2021.
On Monday night in Abuja, Goodluck Jonathan expressed his “appreciation to the government and people of The Gambia for the moral support offered to the inter-party dialogue to date“.
In as much as former President Goodluck Jonathan is working with the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) on his mediation efforts, he is also in constant touch with current Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari on the progress recorded so far with the Gambian constitutional review process.